Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. - Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB
Reading through Leviticus can sometimes be tedious. There are so many sacrifices to keep track of: sin offering, burnt offering, wave offering, and on it goes. But this time through I noticed that the burnt offering was often described as a sweet aroma to the Lord.
That reminded me that there are several New Testament verses that speak of aromas. In the above verse Paul is so bold as to say that we can (and should) walk in love, just as Christ did! A life of sacrifice for others is a fragrant aroma to Him.
It even works the other direction (from God to man)! Second Corinthians 2:14 says, “God always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” What a privilege, especially in these days of pandemonium (or is it pandemia?)! We have opportunities to sacrifice ourselves for others in sometimes very unique ways (thus being an aroma to God), and we can be an aroma to men through spreading the knowledge of Him.
There is one more use of the term, fragrant aroma, in the New Testament. It is when Epaphroditus brings a gift for Paul’s support. He says in Philippians 4:18: “I have received everything in full and have an abundance . . . what you have sent is a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.” When we sacrificially give, God sees it as a fragrant aroma. Don’t miss the chance to be aromatic in all three ways!
One-Year Bible Reading
2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21